Stranded in ORD (Chicago) Until 3am on Christmas: Part 2

I previously wrote about the unfortunate start to my Christmas vacation when my flight from Chicago to Detroit was delayed until 3 a.m. on Christmas.  That was a bummer but I certainly did not have it as bad as the folks who wanted to fly to Little Rock-their flight was canceled around 1 a.m.


ORD’s holiday decorations were pretty awesome.

In the last post, I mentioned that the Exec. Plat. member who sat next to me at the gate received 4,000 redeemable miles from American Airlines as compensation for the delayed flight.  This morning I called American Airlines with the goal of also receiving 4,000 redeemable miles as compensation.  After 20 minutes of phone calls and two dropped calls (those were probably my fault), the nice American Airlines Platinum Customer Service Representative said she could offer 8,000 miles as compensation.  I, of course, contained my excitement, accepted the compensation, thanked her for looking into the matter, and hung up the phone.  Shortly thereafter, 8,000 miles posted to my account.


Even ORD’s Admirals Club had a small Christmas tree.

This brings up two interesting issues.  First, always call customer service to complain for delays, seat bumps (I was moved once to “redistribute weight on the plane”), broken planes (bathrooms, trays, etc), and canceled flights.  Elite members are probably going to have an easier time requesting compensation, but it never hurts to ask.

Second, why did I receive twice the number of miles as the Exec. Plat. lady who clearly had a higher elite status than me?  I think it has to do with the fact that American kept pushing back the delay time.  When she called, the flight was likely only delayed by an hour or two.  When I called, the customer service representative could see that the flight was delayed by four hours, one hour of which was caused by a delay in refueling the airplane once it landed.  This leads me to believe that American truely compensates folks based on the level of inconvenience, not based on their elite status or the price paid for the plane ticket (as I suspected).  Well done American Airlines.  I value 8,000 miles at approximately $160 since I can redeem 40,000 miles for a round-trip flight to Europe (~$800) on an airline other than WOW (WOW offers $99 flights to Europe).


Overall I’m satisfied with how American Airlines’s customer service representatives handled the issue and I feel fully compensated for the inconvenience.

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